Tips To Improve Cyber Security When Working From Home
Since the pandemic, the kitchens, garages, and spare bedrooms have been converted to office spaces. Our kids and pets have become our coworkers, and companies have noticed an increase in shirt sales compared to pant sales.
There has been flexibility needed for this unique transition to adapt to this new environment, and there are security practices that have come up because of the new environment. People have gotten a hang of working from home, but you need to keep in mind some important security practices that you have to implement.
Locking your devices
You need to lock your devices any time you walk away from your desk. It is important to keep sensitive information hidden from your roommates, partners, children, and visitors. You can do this on most devices using keyboard shortcuts. After doing this for some time, it is going to be a habit and you won’t even need to think about it when getting away from your desk. The shortcut on Windows is Windows + L and Command + Control + Q on Mac. Give this a try and see how it works.
Securing your router password
Most people don’t know how to set their router because they were not the ones setting it up. What many people don’t know is someone can log in to the router. When you log in to the router using a username and password, you have the option of changing network settings. Just like any other type of software, it can be a serious problem if an unwanted user logins and gains access. Many routers are usually set up using basic passwords like “12345” or ”admin”. The first thing you have to do is change your password to something hard. You can keep the new password in your password manager.
Work devices vs personal devices
It is important to ensure your work devices and personal devices are kept separate. Using your personal device for your work is not a good idea because they are not monitored for software updates and vulnerabilities. You need to avoid using your mobile phone and personal laptop for things you can do on your work laptop and mobile phone. You might see it as a lot of work to use different devices when paying your bills, sending a personal email, or messaging a friend, but you need to do it. This is also going to help you separate your work life from your personal life at home which is very important when you want to take care of your mental health during the global pandemic.
The latest security news
Try your best to be up to date with security news and share them with your colleagues. You should have some time to use for reading up on the latest security news so you can know the latest news on any vulnerabilities, breaches, and attacks. Subscribe to news sites sending out weekly digests so you don’t have to spend a lot of time searching manually. You should always be on the lookout for any third-party software you and the company use. If it is compromised, there is a man-in-the-middle attack risk, which can end up affecting the company. When you keep up with such news, you are going to know the most dangerous and frequent kinds of attacks, e.g. phishing scams can be risky for your organization. Extended detection and response (XDR) can help to identify and mitigate such cyber threats.
Avoiding public Wi-Fi networks and using a VPN
Spring is here and the weather is improving and public spaces are opening up safely. Some people are thinking of working from somewhere that isn’t their home, such as the neighborhood park or the local coffee shop, but this might not be the best idea. There are many security problems involved when you want to work from a public space. Passersby can look over your shoulder on the screen or listen to your conversations, there is a higher chance of your device being stolen, and the Wi-Fi networks are usually insecure. All of these risks make such spaces a bad place to work from. If you want to take advantage of working from home, then you have to keep these risks in mind. If you feel like stepping away from your desk, then consider going for a walk during your lunch break or finding a secure outdoor office space like your enclosed backyard.
Prioritizing mental health
If working from home is leaving you feeling exhausted or worn out, then it might be time to take a mental health day or two so you can get out of your workspace and recharge. When you feel exhausted from working, it becomes easy to start forgetting about security practices that keep you and your company safe. Take care of yourself and your workspace because it is good for both you and the company.
Working from home is something that no one was prepared for and has been a unique challenge. Whether the future involves working from home, going back to the office, or a combination of the two, the above security practices are going to be needed. Wherever you work from, these tips are going to help you with safety online. These tips are also going to be used for the home environment even if you aren’t working from home. Security is very important and everyone’s responsibility.